Applesauce Cake

Applesauce cake always reminds me of my former neighbor and the flavors of fall. Applesauce, nuts, raisins, and spices make for a nice change when serving cake.

a slice of applesauce cake on a plate and applesauce in a small bowl.

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Fall Is Apple Time

What’s the number one thing you can do after arriving home with a basketful of freshly picked apples from your local farmers’ market or your orchard-picking weekend? Make homemade applesauce, of course! Then, what’s the best thing you can do with all of that applesauce? Make this amazing and easy applesauce cake, of course!

Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake

This old-fashioned applesauce cake definitely has a bit of a fall vibe, but you can make it for any season. It’s a quick and easy cake that you can eat at any time – even for breakfast. This best applesauce cake recipe would also be perfect for taking to a potluck, pitch in, or barbecue.

Applesauce cake makes a tasty afternoon snack or after-dinner dessert. Either way, a cup of tea or coffee alongside makes for a cozy fall treat.

This recipe for applesauce cake makes a light and perfectly spiced and scented cake. This fluffy and a little gooey concoction is one of the most delicious cakes you’ll ever eat. 

Want to bake a cake with hardly any effort at all? Try this easy applesauce cake. It’s a homemade cake from scratch with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

What Does Applesauce Do in Cake?

Homemade cake is so moist when applesauce is added. Applesauce is a well-known substitute for butter and oil in baking recipes because it’s an easy way to cut calories. Applesauce is used for moisture and overall flavor in this recipe for applesauce cake. You can taste it in every bite.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Applesauce
  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Eggs
  • Baking soda
  • Ground cloves
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Raisins
  • Nuts
applesauce cake ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations

  • Use different types of nuts – walnuts or pecans work really well.
  • Go for different kinds of raisins – golden, black, sultanas.
  • Replace white sugar with maple syrup (cup for cup).
  • Try using cranberry sauce (for a Thanksgiving cake) or pear sauce.
  • Add a few tablespoons of rum.
  • If you prefer a sugar substitute, use 1 cup of monkfruit granulated sweetener for every 2 cups of sugar.

How to Make Applesauce Cake

  1. Heat applesauce and sugar.
applesauce and sugar mixture in a saucepan.
  1. Mix together flour, baking soda, raisins, nuts, and spices.
applesauce cake dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  1. Add the sugar mixture and melted shortening to the dry ingredients. Use an electric hand mixer to beat until combined.
  2. Add eggs and beat until well blended.
  3. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9×13-inch baking dish.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
applesauce cake slice on a plate and a small bowl of applesauce.

Tips for the Cook

  • If you decide to use store-bought applesauce, choose one with a chunky texture.
  • Soak the raisins in apple juice before using them in the recipe. 
  • Slice some fresh apples and set them on the top of the cake just before baking.
  • You could also easily use this applesauce cake batter to make apple muffins instead of cake.

How to Top an Applesauce Cake

Served it plain with a dollop of whipped cream on top or a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dust with powdered sugar (easiest). You can also opt to make a glaze – here are some suggestions:

  • Powdered Sugar Icing: Mix together ½ cup powdered sugar to 1 tablespoon milk. Stir until all lumps dissolve and you have a drizzle-able texture. Add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon to make it even tastier.
  • Vegan Powdered Sugar Icing: Substitute your favorite non-dairy milk for regular. Note that almond milk especially is more watery than dairy milk. Begin with less milk and add just enough to reach a drizzle-able consistency.
  • Make a glaze with powdered sugar and apple juice.
  • Cream Cheese Icing: This easy applesauce cake goes really well with cream cheese frosting. Again, you can opt to add some cinnamon.
  • Browned Butter Frosting makes this cake completely irresistible!
  • Caramel Glaze
  • Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best Way to Drizzle Icing? With a Fork!

You might think that the easiest way to drizzle icing would be with a spoon. However, using a spoon can result in a chunky drizzle. You can load quite a bit of icing onto a spoon, but it comes off fast, and you have little control over the drizzle.

Using a fork gives you the best control and helps you make thin lines. Of course, you can also pipe icing using a pastry bag, but using a fork is the easiest way to drizzle icing on cookies, muffins, and cakes

Make sure your baked items are at room temperature, or the glaze will melt. Dip a fork into the glaze and drizzle in a zigzag pattern. Let sit at room temperature until the glaze is dry – about 15 minutes.

How to Store Applesauce Cake

Any cake with cream cheese frosting or any frosting made with milk should not be left out at room temperature. Any leftover cake can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

You can also bake your cake ahead of time, wrap it well, and freeze it for up to three months in an airtight container or double wrapped with plastic wrap. When ready to serve, defrost and glaze your cake.

applesauce cake slice on a plate and the cake in a glass baking dish.

I hope you give this applesauce spice cake recipe a try! This is a delicious cake that is perfect for fall.

Love apple flavor? Try these recipes!

Check out more of my easy cake recipes and the best fall recipes here on CopyKat!

This recipe is by Lynn Ordorph. Pueblo, CO. 1976

a slice of applesauce cake on a plate and applesauce in a small bowl.

Applesauce Cake

Homemade cake is so moist when applesauce is added to the cake.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Applesauce Cake, Cake Recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 440kcal


  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening heated
  • 2 eggs
  • Grease for the pan


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Combine the applesauce and sugar, in a small pan on the stove over medium-low heat and heat until warm.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, raisins, nuts, and spices.
  • Add the applesauce and heated shortening to the flour mixture, and beat with an electric mixer until soft.
  • Then add the eggs, and continue to beat until well blended.
  • Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9×13-inch baking dish and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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